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Transcript

00:00:00
>> High rise, low tech. These boats link two different worlds with one resource.>>
FOREIGN]
>> Sand, vital for India's building boom, these miners, or divers, can fetch around 300 buckets of it a day.>> It's all dark inside the water. I have to judge where the sand is with my leg.
00:00:23
I then get a grip in the sand with my feet and press the bucket into the sand to fill it. And then I pull the bucket out, I wait five seconds and go back.>> But there are hundreds of boats every day. And around 75,000 men from India's poorest areas, risking untreated chemicals and industrial waste in these waters close to Mumbai.
00:00:45
>> While I work there, my head started hurting. Blood started coming out of my ear and nose. My chest started hurting. After coming out from the water, within 15 to 20 minutes of sitting on the boat and the sun, my head would spin.>> At around 1,000 rupees or $15 a day for a boat full of sand and gravel, you can earn nearly four times as much as the average daily wage.
00:01:07
In a nation of 1.3 billion people this is a lucrative business, one some are dying to pursue.>> He is my son, he died while working. We don't know whether the bucket hit him or what happened.>> There are no official numbers for how many lose their lives.
00:01:29
One estimate puts the annual value of illegal sand mining in India at around $150 million. Indian authorities and mining officials deny the existence of its dangers, no price ticket yet on the heavy cost to these workers.